Imagine with me a ship called Argy-Bargy. Captain Accord is given a mission to sail the ship to an island called Habitué. He tells Lieutenant Divagate to set a course of 340 degrees but the officer is distracted and misunderstands the course as 314 degrees. When he repeats the course back to the Captain, his southern accent does not help and he is given confirmation that is 26 degrees off course. Petty Officer 3rd Class Makebate got in a fight with Petty Officer 2nd Class Invidious and, though he was the instigator, he was furious when Ensign Feckless threw him in the brig for three days. When he got out he managed to convince Petty Officer Mugwump and Seaman Apprentice Fulminate that the officers on board Argy-Bargy were corrupt and out to get them. They hatched a plan to sabotage as many officers as they could on social media by spreading malicious lies. What they didn’t realize is that Lieutenant Commander Popinjay overheard them talking and reported them to Master Chief Petty Officer Sot who just happened to be from Makebate’s home town and was a friend of the family. Sot, after a few beers to think about the whole thing, chose not to say anything to the Skipper. Instead he casually shared with the XO, Commander Garboil, that a misunderstanding had occurred among some of the junior enlisted men but that he had handled it. What do you think of the state of unity on this ship? Will it reach Habitué?
Titus 3:9-11—But avoid foolish debates, genealogies, quarrels, and disputes about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. Reject a divisive person after a first and second warning, knowing that such a person is perverted and sins, being self-condemned.
Nigeria is a nation of over 146 million people—the largest populated country in Africa. It comprises more than 250 ethnic groups of which the following are the most populous and politically influential: Hausa and Fulani 29%, Yoruba 21%, Igbo (Ibo) 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5%, and Tiv 2.5%.* In mass Nigeria is over twice the size of California. The nation is located on the Gulf of Guinea and shares borders with the countries of Benin, Cameroun, Chad and Niger. Our team ministered in the city of Jos which literally means Jesus Our Savior! Jos is part of the Plateau State (Nigeria has 36 states) which sits in the middle of the country.
David Sarasohn, a local writer, slammed President Bush for falsely portraying events in Iraq, in an editorial in The Oregonian. He mocked the President for ignoring the reality of life in Iraq as the media portrays it. Shame on the Commander-in-Chief for believing the direct eyewitness account of soldiers and statesmen instead of the six o’clock news! Because I am privy to inside information to a wide array of events in that land, I am increasingly dismayed by the biased and distorted view David and most of the media portray. It is bad journalism to daily report the number of casualties and castigate the Bush administration for every misstep while selectively ignoring every positive development that occurs in the rebuilding of Iraq’s broken infrastructure. If loss of life is truly the media’s concern, why don’t they tally and print the number of Americans killed each day in traffic accidents in the United States? If morality is so important as to fester for weeks over prisoner abuses, why is there no outrage over drunk drivers or the daily despotic practices of lawless terrorists? Could it be that deeper principles are at work? I’m convinced the media is not about reporting information it is about selling philosophy—truly bad news for everyone.
It’s a dazzling day in Dallas. As you walk to your car you spot another woman who attends the same aquatics class. “Hi! That’s a nice outfit Shrena.” She looks at you surprised but then mutters, “Yeah, sure” (like you really care)! Surprised, at her response you innocently ask, “Shrena, are you alright?” But it’s too late. She walks away, ducks in her Audi and drives out of the parking lot.
Ephesians 1:22,23--And He put everything under His feet and appointed Him as head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of the One who fills all things in every way.
If being right is most important, listening may be a lost cause. There is a cost for preferring stubbornness to sensitivity, opinion to grace. For isn’t it true that there still remain churches:
I know a man who sees everything black or white. Maybe you know him too. He is zealous for the truth. He is a defender of justice who confidently speaks for God. His critical eye is the first to spot error in others and in himself. He is meticulous in his theology, mastered in the school of answers, mindful of all the rules.